This is one out of three commercials from freelance team Michael Middelkoop en Sharif Abdel Mawla for de Correspondent. What’s special about the commercials is that they are a gift. And the reason for this generosity is that Middelkoop and Abdel Mawla want to support De Correspondent. Because they support its mission of only bringing in-depth journalism and staying away from superficial news.

What also makes the online newspaper unique is that it only lives on subscriptions – which makes it advertising-free.

De Correspondent was happy with Middelkoop and Abdel Mawla’s Sinterklaas’ (the Dutch equivalent of Santa) present and almost immediately embraced it. The newspaper even wrote an article (in Dutch) about it saying; “normally we’re not too eager when advertisers tell us they created an ad campaign for our medium. After all, our news being shared by our readers forms the advertising.

Curious nevertheless, the newspaper invited the duo to its headquarters, and luckily so, they admit. According to De Correspondent the films are “funny” (supported by a Belgian voice-over) and “strikingly” translate the message De Correspondent stands for; in-depth news for curious people. Finally, “it doesn’t feel like normal advertising, cause there’s no call to action to take a subscription.” Indeed, we call that a brand campaign.

Middelkoop and Abdel Mawla have not just shown how to sell De Correspondent, but obviously also sold themselves. Chapeau.

Here are the other two commercials: Pole and Devider.